The last year and a half has been a constant churning of life’s ocean waves when set on a giant spin cycle. Between COVID and finishing up my master’s degree, I barely have an internal clock or a solid sense of time (as if I had one in the first place).
But now things are finally getting back to normal (well, as normal as post-graduation adult life can get), and therefore it’s probably worth giving a life update.
I’m happy to reveal my newest cover design for debut author Andrew D. Doan. This was a ton of fun to put together. When Andrew told me it was about an esteemed cemetery that the wealthy people of the town were *literally* dying to claim for their final resting place, I knew I was going to have a blast. Typically cemeteries are creepy and belong in horror novels—but this one? Let’s have the tombstones made of gold!!
I was able to design this cover for Lana Howell’s debut novel, The Kingdom Heir, published by Xulon Press. In my research for book cover designs, I’ve realized that many covers are predominantly a single color scheme. Because the protagonist is a healer and herb-user, I wanted the cover to be predominantly green, and a medical cross shape is seen behind the characters. I also tried to incorporate greenery in the textures and title to allude to her occupation.
This was also my first cover where I used my own models for stock photography, which was a fun experiment and made finding medieval costume photography a little cheaper and easier.
I had the privilege to design the cover for Jenny Smith’s new memoir, Live the Impossible, a book about her time in a wheelchair and how it’s made her into who she is today.
Since she’s a world traveller and mentions in the subtitle about a wheelchair taking her to places she couldn’t have imagined, I wanted to give the entire book a globe-trotter look, so I put a subtle map pattern in the background. Instead of an obvious wheelchair icon, I instead did an abstract rendering of a wheel that also looked like a burst of life and sunlight. It ended up being the perfect balance between accurately advertising and not beating the audience over the head with the subject matter.
Ever want to read a western…but with dragons? Kylee Kosoff just graduated with her degree in professional writing and published an anthology of her work (and yes, there be dragons in the west). I was happy to create the cover design and interior layout for her—trying to combine two completely different genres into a fresh, new idea was so appealing to me that I couldn’t say no. The book is also filled with beautiful illustrations done by the incredible Rebekah Webb.
If you’d like to purchase Kylee’s portfolio, you can find it on her website.
While working in the video advertising department at PCC, I got a chance to create the highlight promotional video for this semester’s blood drive. This year’s would be extra tricky, since we had to be extra conscious of social distancing and other COVID mandates, and that we not show anything that would contradict the policies the college had set in place.
This year I wanted to go against the norm and make the blood drive look more “fun” than “inspirational.” In the past, the blood drive videos often had slow, thoughtful music with careful camera angles. Instead, I wanted to capitalize on any happiness I could scrounge up during this depressing COVID-y year, so I picked a happy song and focused on as much smiling and joy as possible.
I designed this cover for Ben Wolf, author of Ghost Mine and the Blood Mercenaries series. This was my first time designing a nonfiction work, so my style had to adapt to accommodate for it. Instead of creating a scene or relying on a cinematic design, I wanted “writing book” to be the first message a potential buyer would get. That called for a light cover and the word “author” as big as I could get it. Ben also asked if I would include a book that had both science fiction and fantasy elements emerging from its pages.
I took color inspiration from Save the Cat!, one of the most notable writing books for fiction writers on the market. It features a bold orange that goes against cliché color pallets for writing books (like red and black). Instead of orange, I picked an equally-striking yellow, which led to the play off of “power” as gears, machines, and electricity.
For our Conceptual Communications class we had to create weekly artwork based on a prompt. I decided to redesign well-known book covers based on each. Below are each of the three covers with their original photo references that I used to combine into a single image.
One of my goals for these projects is to create a professional book cover using entirely free resources from Pixabay, Dafont, and other online sites (with the obvious exception of Adobe, which sadly isn’t free). Below you can see each photo I used in each cover, and you can find every resource free online.
Eighteen-year-old River Ardis lives in a future where terrorists infiltrate the country as teenagers. She tries her best to keep her head down and away from the unrest until she meets a distraught girl from the 1990s. But little do either of them know, the oppressive government has been hunting the time traveler for years—and anyone associated with her.
I began writing my time travel dystopian trilogy when I was fourteen, and it’s since undergone extensive edits for the past ten years. While I intend to pursue a traditional publishing house, which would be responsible for cover designs, I wanted to design my own cover and layout for a class project.
Due to the pandemic, PCC couldn’t have their annual Christmas Lights celebration, so our video team was tasked to create a series of music videos similar to the Mary Did You Knowmusic video I helped with several years ago.
I was able to help on the set of a number of these music videos as a PA, keeping track of each scene, helping set up and tear down equipment, prepping the set, and creating lights and effects during filming.